Former West Bromwich Albion midfielder Carlton Palmer has laughed off a £6m bid from West Ham United for 28-year-old goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, in an interview with The Transfer Tavern.
Johnstone was impressive for the Baggies last season despite not being able to save them from the drop and with this, was rewarded with a call-up to the England squad along with fellow recently-relegated stopper Aaron Ramsdale, who remains with Sheffield United as things stand.
20 questions about some of West Brom’s biggest ever moments in their history – Can you score full marks?
Although many people may have believed this call-up and his subsequent inclusion in the final 26-man squad was made a certainty by Nick Pope’s injury, he was reported to be pushing Dean Henderson to be Jordan Pickford’s understudy even before the Manchester United keeper’s withdrawal with a hip issue.
Everton’s Pickford remained fit throughout the entire tournament – but this inclusion in the international squad and the praise he received for his performance in a friendly against Romania at the start of last month will only go on to increase his valuation.
However, the 28-year-old only has one year left on his contract and as things stand, he’s unlikely to sign a new deal at The Hawthorns with his side now back in the second tier.
Carlton Palmer believes the £6m bid is an insult though – and thinks the 28-year-old is worth a lot more than the recent offer launched by West Ham.
In an interview with The Transfer Tavern, Palmer said: “They are trying it on, aren’t they? It’s always the situation whereby when a club gets relegated, they know that they’ll want to cut the wage bill.
“So, of course, West Ham are just testing the water to see where they are. But there’s no way in the world he’s going to be available for 6 million.”
Most people would probably agree with Carlton Palmer on this one.
Although West Ham have every right to submit a low bid for Johnstone with just a year left on his contract, the Baggies may as well keep hold of the 28-year-old for another year if this is the best offer they’re going to get because he could be key to promotion.
With many teams said to be sniffing around the goalkeeper, this offer is unlikely to be the highest, but it would be time to sell the England international if they receive an eight-figure bid for him before the transfer window closes.
The only circumstance in which they shouldn’t accept this offer is if the goalkeeper puts pen to paper on a new deal. That’s unlikely to happen with promotion not guaranteed next season, so they may have to be flexible at the negotiating table and reduce their £20m asking price for any deal to happen.
Any team could come in next year, offer him a pre-contract deal and potentially leave West Brom facing the prospect of receiving no money at all for the 28-year-old, so the next few weeks will be crucial.